Assumption University, Jewish Federation of Windsor and Community Center Launch New Course
Representatives of the Jewish and Catholic communities were present at the event.
Assumption University Windsor and the Jewish Federation and Community Center of Windsor launched a new course titled “Jerusalem and Rome: Jewish-Catholic Relations” at an event at JCC Windsor on May 2.
The course marks a new chapter in Jewish-Catholic dialogue, teaching an appreciation of both religious traditions in hopes of inspiring other Jewish-Catholic communities in Canada and the United States.
Dan Brotman, Executive Director of the WJCC, and Dr. John Cappucci, Stephen Jarislowsky Professor of Religion and Conflict at Assumption University, signed a joint statement at the event and thanked each other to symbolize their friendship continues.
Jewish and Catholic prayers at the event were led by Rabbi Mike Nasielski of the WJCC and the father of Assumption University. Paul McGill, CSB, superior of the Basilian Fellows. Members of Windsor and the wider Jewish and Catholic communities also attended.
The course paints a portrait of Jewish-Catholic relations by exploring both historical interactions and contemporary developments between the two religions and their place in the wider community. The course will also explore similarities and differences in the lived expressions of Judaism and Catholicism.
The course aims to provide students with the space to explore approaches and strategies to help cultivate understanding, dialogue, and cooperation between Jewish and Catholic communities.
This will be a six-week crash course on Zoom from May 10 to June 24 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:20 p.m.
The course is available for credit or audit. Special transfer agreements have been made for many universities in Canada, as well as the University of Michigan and Wayne State University.
For Nasielski, the course is particularly unique in that it presents Jewish-Catholic relations primarily through a Catholic university, but with much input from Jewish sources and guest lecturers, including himself.
“It takes this mission to help Catholics and other non-Jews understand Judaism, but it’s important to present it from a Jewish perspective,” Nasielski said. “It ensures that the Jewish perspective is expressed by real, living Jewish people and that it’s not just ‘the Jews’.”
For Cappucci, the course is a historic moment and a major step forward in Jewish-Catholic relations.
“You have a Catholic university and a Jewish federation working together on a topic of mutual interest and mutual benefit in education for the community, I’m very excited about that,” Cappucci said. “I hope (students) will be inspired to see that Jews and Catholics are not as different as everyone is beginning to think, that their similarities outweigh their differences. I really hope that the next generation of students will start to think in those terms rather than see an us versus them dichotomy.
For more information and/or to register, visit https://assumptionu.ca/jerusalem_and_rome/